Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Manitoba: December 5

We've all seen storms hyped. The hype is big. It's gonna dump. It's gonna be epic. It's gonna be this. It's gonna be that. But when dawn breaks, what is the reality? More likely than not, the hype does not live up to reality. Hype sets the bar high and unless its met, you will be disappointed. Hype will turn 12" into a let down. Hype cannot help; it can only hurt. Without hype, there cannot be disappointment.

What made this storm different was that the hype of the storm carried over into the avi forecast. The storm fizzled, but the forecast refused to accept the 3" reality.

So I met some friends and headed for some lower angle terrain. Manitoba has a super-wide 30° South face and some impressive North facing couloirs off the summit. Its perfect for a day when you are unsure of the stability. It was bluebird with about 8" (2 storms worth) of blower with no wind. Stability tests revealed nothing of concern, but the 1/2" hoar frost could make the next storm interesting. The skiing was excellent and the team felt more comfortable on the South Face. Our final lap was bathed in the alpenglow which was really lighting up the hoar frost.

The Summit area has been blowing my socks off lately. The terrain is much bigger than Turnagain and way less people. Everyday puts about 10 new lines on the wish list.

South Face of Manitoba

South Face of Silver Tip
Dresden II: Back to the Projects

Sunset over Summit Lake

To get to Manitoba park at the Mile 48 lot on the East side of the Seward Highway. Skin North along the highway for about 100 yards and follow the fire road into the woods and over the bridge.

- Daniel Elsberg

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